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Slim Buddha
14-03-2014, 08:05 AM
Veteran Labour left MP Tony Benn has died, aged 88

http://www.theguardian.com/politics/2014/mar/14/tony-benn-dies-aged-88-labour-politiican?CMP=EMCNEWEML6619I2

Slim Buddha
14-03-2014, 08:11 AM
After the untimely death of Bob Crow, the death of Tony Benn robs British politics of another man who believed in what he was doing. I found myself disagreeing with Tony Benn, as I did with Bob Crow, on many issues but the service both men rendered to left wing politics was immense.

Benn was a man who was wrong on so many things, in my opinion, but always for the right reasons. Whatever else he was, he was a man of integrity and such people are so rare in politics, we tend to miss them when they are gone, even though we barely, if ever, agreed with them when they were actively engaged in politics.

Holly
14-03-2014, 08:17 AM
Tony Benn was a brilliant socialist thinker, writer, and apologist. He was a treasure.

Sam Lord
14-03-2014, 08:37 AM
Benn came from a thoroughly bourgeois background (Westminster School,Oxford) and was a lifelong member of the British Labour Party. He has no connection with socialism or the working class movement. He was a cabinet minister in several British governments including the one that put British troops onto the streets of Northern Ireland. I, for one, am not shedding any tears.

Andrew49
14-03-2014, 08:50 AM
Benn was one of a kind - he'll be missed.

Ceannaire
14-03-2014, 08:56 AM
Benn came from a thoroughly bourgeois background (Westminster School,Oxford) and was a lifelong member of the British Labour Party. He has no connection with socialism or the working class movement. He was a cabinet minister in several British governments including the one that put British troops onto the streets of Northern Ireland. I, for one, am not shedding any tears.


http://www.britannica.com/EBchecked/topic/187483/Friedrich-Engels

Slim Buddha
14-03-2014, 08:56 AM
Benn came from a thoroughly bourgeois background (Westminster School,Oxford) and was a lifelong member of the British Labour Party. He has no connection with socialism or the working class movement. He was a cabinet minister in several British governments including the one that put British troops onto the streets of Northern Ireland. I, for one, am not shedding any tears.


Given your admiration for oligarch-supported, right-wing imperialist annexer, V.V. Putin, and his Mafia State, I would be surprised if the death of someone like Benn would upset you in any way.

Andrew49
14-03-2014, 08:57 AM
Benn was one of a kind - he'll be missed.

In his time he was as much loathed by his own party as by the Tories - indeed it could be said that the Tories loved him more than his own Labour colleagues,

C. Flower
14-03-2014, 09:04 AM
A generation of the British Labour Movement is going. British social demcracy was based mainly on the trade unions. The extreme wealth of Britain as a colonial power and first comer in mass manufacture made it possible for organised workers, in boom times, to obtain a decent living standards and some socialised provision of services. Social democracy, and people like Benn, never challenged for power. It is also the 30th anniversary of the Miner's strike, a reminder of how Trade Unionism separated from politics and without the determination to get real political power for the working class was unable to stop the Reagan/Thatcher/Merkel project. The British manufacturing working class is a fraction of what it was: manufacture has moved elsewhere and to a loarge extent Britain is a State of chavs and bankers.

Richardbouvet
14-03-2014, 09:18 AM
So Benn "never challenged for power?" I really don't know how you can say that.

Sam Lord
14-03-2014, 09:38 AM
http://www.britannica.com/EBchecked/topic/187483/Friedrich-Engels

It's one thing to go against your class. It's another to serve it through social democracy .. a 5th column in the working class movement.

Sam Lord
14-03-2014, 09:43 AM
Given your admiration for oligarch-supported, right-wing imperialist annexer, V.V. Putin, and his Mafia State, I would be surprised if the death of someone like Benn would upset you in any way.

I can't recall expressing any admiration for Putin or the status quo in Russia but I suppose in the absence of any coherent analysis from the standpoint of the working class in the Ukraine you have to spin your nonsense.

Ceannaire
14-03-2014, 09:47 AM
It's one thing to go against your class. It's another to serve it through social democracy .. a 5th column in the working class movement.

But you said he had "no connection" with the working class movement...

Sam Lord
14-03-2014, 10:26 AM
But you said he had "no connection" with the working class movement...

Sorry .. no "honest" connection ..

Slim Buddha
14-03-2014, 10:37 AM
I can't recall expressing any admiration for Putin or the status quo in Russia but I suppose in the absence of any coherent analysis from the standpoint of the working class in the Ukraine you have to spin your nonsense.

No? You spend hours fantasising how right Russia is in its actions annexing the national territory of a neighbouring country, meddling in the international affairs of a sovereign nation and harbouring a mass murderer and kleptomaniac.

I never purported to present a coherent "analysis from the standpoint of the working class in Ukraine" of recent events there. So I have no idea (but several suspicions) where you picked that from.

It has been several hours since you wrote "Nazis" in a thread on Ukraine. What's wrong??

Richardbouvet
14-03-2014, 10:52 AM
Can i play mod for a moment and ask people to stay on topic (Tony Benn) please?

C. Flower
14-03-2014, 11:03 AM
Benn came from a thoroughly bourgeois background (Westminster School,Oxford) and was a lifelong member of the British Labour Party. He has no connection with socialism or the working class movement. He was a cabinet minister in several British governments including the one that put British troops onto the streets of Northern Ireland. I, for one, am not shedding any tears.

That will be Sir Anthony Wedgewood Benn to you.

Saoirse go Deo
14-03-2014, 01:05 PM
Benn came from a thoroughly bourgeois background (Westminster School,Oxford) and was a lifelong member of the British Labour Party. He has no connection with socialism or the working class movement. He was a cabinet minister in several British governments including the one that put British troops onto the streets of Northern Ireland. I, for one, am not shedding any tears.

You are the only person I have seen mention this salient point so far... Did he practice what he preached? He was supposedly in favour of British withdrawal, yet when he was in a position of influence his govt sent the troops in with hardly a murmur from himself.

Dr. FIVE
14-03-2014, 01:24 PM
2006 interview with Vincent Browne

http://podcast.rasset.ie/podcasts/2006/pc/pod-v-010506-55m41s-vincentbrowne.mp3

Ceannaire
14-03-2014, 01:28 PM
You are the only person I have seen mention this salient point so far... Did he practice what he preached? He was supposedly in favour of British withdrawal, yet when he was in a position of influence his govt sent the troops in with hardly a murmur from himself.

Well the British troops were initially broadly welcomed by Catholics, so even someone sympathetic to Irish nationalism could have supported their deployment with the best of intentions, whether or not that was right.

Saoirse go Deo
14-03-2014, 01:35 PM
Well the British troops were initially broadly welcomed by Catholics, so even someone sympathetic to Irish nationalism could have supported their deployment with the best of intentions, whether or not that was right.

Being a member of cabinet he was not in the position of ignorance regarding the remit and intentions of the British Army like the besieged nationalists were.

Regardless of whether or not he had good intentions he was a minister from 1966 to 1970 and 1974 to 1979 - what of all the events in that period which he colluded with?

Richardbouvet
14-03-2014, 02:45 PM
Perhaps he learned from them Saoirse. That is allowed.

riposte
14-03-2014, 02:55 PM
It's one thing to go against your class. It's another to serve it through social democracy .. a 5th column in the working class movement.

You're winding me up Sam.


. He was a cabinet minister in several British governments including the one that put British troops onto the streets of Northern Ireland. I, for one, am not shedding any tears.

http://www.politicalworld.org/attachment.php?attachmentid=689&d=1330212329

Saoirse go Deo
14-03-2014, 02:55 PM
Perhaps he learned from them Saoirse. That is allowed.

Must have been a very slow learner in that case, for a supposed intellectual heavyweight. Leaving aside his rhetoric in opposition and focusing on his record when it counted, it is not very pretty.

Saoirse go Deo
14-03-2014, 03:00 PM
You're winding me up Sam.

Riposte, you were around for this... which govt was it which brought in the policies of criminalization and ulsterisation in the mid to late seventies? Kieran Nugent went on the blanket in September of 1976. Thatchers policy in the north was merely a continuation of what was there before.

riposte
14-03-2014, 03:21 PM
Riposte, you were around for this... which govt was it which brought in the policies of criminalization and ulsterisation in the mid to late seventies? Kieran Nugent went on the blanket in September of 1976. Thatchers policy in the north was merely a continuation of what was there before.

If I remember correctly ( excuse my Alzheimer's ) ..... it was Roy Mason (Labour).... http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Roy_Mason

PaddyJoe
14-03-2014, 03:27 PM
Today with SOR brought on a Thacherite Daily Mail journalist this morning to spend 15 almost uninterrupted minutes rubbishing Benn and his legacy. Incredible programming decision even by RTE standards.

riposte
14-03-2014, 03:35 PM
Today with SOR brought on a Thacherite Daily Mail journalist this morning to spend 15 almost uninterrupted minutes rubbishing Benn and his legacy. Incredible programming decision even by RTE standards.

I heard it ...... it was sickening.Worse...I sent in a text to Keelin Shanley asking her if she was having her discussion on Russia and the Ukraine in a pub.

Saoirse go Deo
14-03-2014, 04:04 PM
If I remember correctly ( excuse my Alzheimer's ) ..... it was Roy Mason (Labour).... http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Roy_Mason

So Britain's policy in the north had nothing to do with the British government or its cabinet... right.

If he was so principled and sincere with his opinions about Ireland why did he not resign from his post given the policies he and his fellow members of the British govt carried out in the north?

He wasn't the worst, far from it, but the sanctification is a bit much.

Sam Lord
14-03-2014, 04:12 PM
You're winding me up Sam.



Not at all. I don't think you can be a member of the British government and an anti-imperialist at the same time. It's like fcu*king for virginity as they used to say back in the day.

But Shinners could never grasp that. They always thought he was great. It reflected a low political level.

Holly
14-03-2014, 04:14 PM
So Britain's policy in the north had nothing to do with the British government or its cabinet... right.
Unlike the DŠil, the British government is subject to parliament and not under the complete control of a Cabinet or Prime Minister.


If he was so principled and sincere with his opinions about Ireland why did he not resign from his post given the policies he and his fellow members of the British govt carried out in the north?
Not every matter is a resigning one. I'm sure, had you wanted an answer, you would have received a reply had you written to Tony Benn


He wasn't the worst, far from it, but the sanctification is a bit much.
I have heard many criticisms today from both New Labour and Tory people and far from an apotheosis.

riposte
14-03-2014, 04:17 PM
So Britain's policy in the north had nothing to do with the British government or its cabinet... right.
.

What?....... who said that?

Saoirse go Deo
14-03-2014, 04:22 PM
What?....... who said that?

Then you'll admit that Benn's rhetoric about Ireland did not stack up with the actions of the govt (actions which he supported) of which he was a minister.

Holly
14-03-2014, 04:24 PM
Then you'll admit that Benn's rhetoric about Ireland did not stack up with the actions of the govt (actions which he supported) of which he was a minister.
Precisely what actions did Tony Benn support?

Saoirse go Deo
14-03-2014, 04:33 PM
Precisely what actions did Tony Benn support?

While he says in his diaries that he opposed criminalization he still happily went along with the H-Blocks being built and scores of young Irishmen being stuffed in there and tortured. Yet he had the gall years later to accept plaques dedicated to Bobby Sands and others

Saoirse go Deo
14-03-2014, 04:48 PM
On a lighter note:


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H-YYroSudUs

Andrew49
14-03-2014, 04:50 PM
The Irish just love a Barney ... don't they!

Can I throw a squirrel into the mix?

riposte
14-03-2014, 04:58 PM
Then you'll admit that Benn's rhetoric about Ireland did not stack up with the actions of the govt (actions which he supported) of which he was a minister.

I never admit anything ......

Saoirse go Deo
14-03-2014, 05:00 PM
I never admit anything ......
lol!

C. Flower
14-03-2014, 06:56 PM
"Socialism ..is about organisation...its about democracy"

Well, no actually.

C. Flower
14-03-2014, 07:02 PM
Today with SOR brought on a Thacherite Daily Mail journalist this morning to spend 15 almost uninterrupted minutes rubbishing Benn and his legacy. Incredible programming decision even by RTE standards.

Yes. Quite a classic, in a grim kind of a way.

Holly
14-03-2014, 07:05 PM
While he says in his diaries that he opposed criminalization he still happily went along with the H-Blocks being built and scores of young Irishmen being stuffed in there and tortured. Yet he had the gall years later to accept plaques dedicated to Bobby Sands and others
Are you saying there was a vote in the Commons to allow internment without trial in the Six Counties and that he voted for this?

C. Flower
14-03-2014, 07:27 PM
http://www.theguardian.com/politics/2014/mar/14/tony-benn-dies-aged-88-labour-politiican

Tony Benn in a 2006 interview.

Spectabilis
14-03-2014, 09:18 PM
http://f2.thejournal.ie/media/2014/03/tony-benn-2-250x500.jpg





I admired Tony Benn. This is a fitting memorial.

Count Bobulescu
14-03-2014, 09:29 PM
http://f2.thejournal.ie/media/2014/03/tony-benn-2-250x500.jpg





I admired Tony Benn. This is a fitting memorial.Indeed! I didn't always agree with him, but I admired him.

Kev Bar
15-03-2014, 12:27 AM
You had to admire him.

And that Ali G interview is a classic.

goatstoe
15-03-2014, 01:55 PM
A few posters chewing the fat on this thread. I liked Tony Benn, one of the good guys and he had balls.

The Moth
15-03-2014, 02:57 PM
A few posters chewing the fat on this thread. I liked Tony Benn, one of the good guys and he had balls.

Me too. He had something unique!

Apjp
15-03-2014, 11:05 PM
Benn came from a thoroughly bourgeois background (Westminster School,Oxford) and was a lifelong member of the British Labour Party. He has no connection with socialism or the working class movement. He was a cabinet minister in several British governments including the one that put British troops onto the streets of Northern Ireland. I, for one, am not shedding any tears.

Lenin was born to a very wealthy upper middle class family..as was Castro as I recall from reading his book-he subsequently divided his dead father's land after the revolution.. Even if we take your point about Benn's govt participation..aren't a lot of communists throughout history from wealthy backgrounds? In some ways in my view, this added legitimacy to their causes, even if I disagree with some elements of that. Would have been very easy for these people to have ignored the despair and poverty around them.

Sounds like selective class bias on your part.

Apjp
15-03-2014, 11:17 PM
No? You spend hours fantasising how right Russia is in its actions annexing the national territory of a neighbouring country, meddling in the international affairs of a sovereign nation and harbouring a mass murderer and kleptomaniac.

I never purported to present a coherent "analysis from the standpoint of the working class in Ukraine" of recent events there. So I have no idea (but several suspicions) where you picked that from.

It has been several hours since you wrote "Nazis" in a thread on Ukraine. What's wrong??

Slim.

Even if it is true that Yes Yanukovich killed some people, and yes Russia has probably breached part of its treaty obligations, that does not change the fact that 5 ministers of the new Ukrainian regime/govt are members of a Nazi Party-Svoboda. One of the deputy prime ministers is a member of this far right group which the european parliament itself has labeled racist and fascist. Nobody has elected these people. They seized power.

When we add to this what the Estonian Foreign Minister has said, confirmed by the Czech govt(are these pro russian sources????), that some or indeed a good proportion of the protesters killed were shot by snipers hired by coalition members, we start to see shadows of the SA and Hitler in the early 30s. Nuland has also gone on record, or rather on youtube, with some well publicised meddling of her own.

I think the Irish commentary in the SBP has been good. By and large it is meddling on both sides, but there is a wider geopolitical game at work here and the US especially is determined it would seem to put Moskow in a weak position like Germany was put in the great Ruhr and Anglo-French-Slav industrial and land carve up 1919. At a time when Shatter is taking on in effect close to a 1'000 new troops and moving soldiers off to Syria on controversial missions, and Ireland is sliding into Natos orbit, one more modest old tradition here would serve us well.

I have not made up my mind completely but I don't believe what the British press is saying. The Irish press, RTE SBP etc. is starting to look moderate after weeks of propaganda from over the water.

At work the sentiment is alarmingly russophobe. Then again most of my team are Polish and have told me they are afraid to go home to the dentist because of reserve drafts which sounds like nonsense to me(as though there is any remote chance of Poland and Russia going to war over this). Of the few Irish people in the office, one fella is siding with the popular paranoia, and another seems to be taking a step back which is the cooler thing to do at this stage. The larger Irish part of me has a strong desire for neutrality here while trying to get past the propaganda from both sides, but especially from the west as my tv has very little russian propaganda on it, and I find the half american in me saying 'no foreign entanglements!'

There are a lot of people who want payback from Russia and a lot of other people determined to use them as pawns in their own sick war games. Crimea is not historically a part of Ukraine except for some dodgy 'gift' in the fifties. Russia also is the only country who believed the Polish and Soviet envoys about the holocaust and has an interest in staring down threats to minorities, even if it is only a secondary one to its larger defense of its borders. There are 100'000 jews there today. The west has a historical benevolence towards the darkest aspects of nazism and Russia may have history on their side in that regard. I suggest you read Jan Karski's book. He was a brilliant Polish intellectual and wartime hero who the west thought made up the holocaust.

Everything western political philosophy and republicanism in particular was founded upon, from US to French thinking and enlightenment, to common sense says we should mind our own business. Stay home. Switzerland must surely be in favour of neutrality on this?

Anyways Russia has a port there and all they have done afaik is close a few airports and blocked a few boats and this led to a bit of tension. The mobs patroling seem to be Crimean formed, though I'd like somebody without a vested interest to tell me that. Where is Robert Fisk when you need him.

Dig a bit deeper too. The IMF want to get in there and that smarmy prick Yatsenyuk is a bit too Monti-Merkel like for my liking. Hardly better than Yanukovich for the welfare of the Ukrainian Republic you would think to join a neo liberal union that wants to steal their resources. They won't be marching for Brussels when their wages are halved again.

Sam Lord
16-03-2014, 01:21 AM
..aren't a lot of communists throughout history from wealthy backgrounds?

I'm not sure about "a lot" but it is beside the point. Benn was not a communist. He was a bourgeois social democrat.

Kev Bar
16-03-2014, 01:28 AM
Lenin was born to a very wealthy upper middle class family..as was Castro as I recall from reading his book-he subsequently divided his dead father's land after the revolution.. Even if we take your point about Benn's govt participation..aren't a lot of communists throughout history from wealthy backgrounds? In some ways in my view, this added legitimacy to their causes, even if I disagree with some elements of that. Would have been very easy for these people to have ignored the despair and poverty around them.

Sounds like selective class bias on your part.

Every now and again Sam takes a break from his valuable work berating Nazis to scream off on his real pet topic: my sperm is better than your sperm.

A Commie with the ejaculation snobbery is a quare and wonderful sight

Sam Lord
16-03-2014, 02:14 AM
It's nothing to do with genes.

It's the ideological formation that commences upon birth that is the problem. People from bourgeois backgrounds find it very difficult to shake off the decades of conditioning that they are subjected to from the cradle. It's a rare one that manages to acquire a totally new world view. Benn was not one of those. That he wanted a more fair world is not in doubt. But the dictatorship of the proletariat, for example, would not have been a concept he could relate to.

Looking at an issue less close to home for you might help you understand the point. In apartheid South Africa there were some Afrikaners who were opposed to the system:



Not only did some Afrikaners resist apartheid and Afrikaner nationalism, but by doing so many were disowned by their families, kicked out of their churches, considered traitors by their people, imprisoned, tortured, and even killed. Bram Fischer, Beyers Naude, Ingrid Jonker, Andre Brink, Breyten Breytenbach, Frederik van Zyl Slabbert, Max du Preez and his Vrye Weekblad newspaper, Koos Kombuis and the VoŽlvry musicians, and Carl Niehaus, just to name a few.


But these were very much a minority. The vast majority of Afrikaners went along with apartheid ... not because they came from racist sperm but because they were not able to overcome their cultural background, their "education", their ideological formation.

And this was just the issue of racism. Bourgeois ideology in its entirety is much more deeply entrenched.

goatstoe
17-03-2014, 07:34 PM
I'm not sure about "a lot" but it is beside the point. Benn was not a communist. He was a bourgeois social democrat.

Are you a communist?

Apjp
17-03-2014, 09:07 PM
I'm not sure about "a lot" but it is beside the point. Benn was not a communist. He was a bourgeois social democrat.

He was definitely further to the left than social democracy even if not communist, which is no bad thing by today's standards. Far from being bourgoeis he disowned his inheritance. I think you just have something against the man cos he was a parliamentarian as well as other things.

Ceannaire
18-03-2014, 11:22 AM
He was definitely further to the left than social democracy even if not communist, which is no bad thing by today's standards. Far from being bourgoeis he disowned his inheritance. I think you just have something against the man cos he was a parliamentarian as well as other things.

I think he has something against him because he showed that it was possible to communicate left-wing ideas and appeal to the working class without being a dogmatist or constantly using some of the verbiage beloved of certain sections of the Left.

Dr. FIVE
18-03-2014, 07:47 PM
https://pbs.twimg.com/media/Bism1LtCcAABa0E.png

Apjp
20-03-2014, 06:50 PM
michael d. is a class act. First Head of State we can be proud of.

Dr. FIVE
20-03-2014, 07:05 PM
A discussion on Ireland with Tony Benn http://www.workersliberty.org/story/2007/02/17/discussion-ireland-tony-benn
The following discussion between Tony Benn and Mark Osborn and Sean Matgamna appeared in Socialist Organiser, 10 September 1994.